If you’ve read some of our previous blog posts, or if you’re up on the latest tech trends, you may have heard of a very exciting, new technology called “augmented reality”. For example, you point your camera-equipped smartphone toward a United Airlines jet taxiing at La Guardia. Superimposed graphics surround the image of the aircraft on your phone, indicating that it’s a Boeing 757 scheduled to depart for San Francisco at 2:45pm, earning its passengers 2,579 Mileage Plus miles. Cool, ay? Wouldn’t it be cooler if you had more real estate to superimpose augmented reality images on? Enter iPad 2! (http://www.apple.com/ipad/)
Sporting a 9.7 inch display, significantly faster processing speed, a lighter design and both front and rear facing cameras, the iPad 2 opens up a whole new realm of augmented reality possibilities – especially for business travelers. Let’s consider the following scenario.
You’re sitting on a Delta flight that happens to be passing over the Grand Canyon. You fire up your iPad 2 and point it downwards. Magically, you see the Grand Canyon passing beneath you in real-time using augmented reality combined with Google Maps (@googlemaps) satellite imagery. Not exactly an app that improves the overall business travel experience, but cool nonetheless. Let’s consider a more practical function.
You’re sitting in the lobby of your hotel wondering where you’re going to dine tonight. You point your iPad 2 in a northerly direction. Your augmented reality app indicates that there are five restaurants less than a mile away from your present location. Carlo’s, an Italian eatery, is only 0.25 miles away. By touching the superimposed image associated with Carlo’s, you view several images of the establishment, a full menu, a list of today’s specials and a wine list. You also realize that the restaurant has free Wi-Fi and is only 30% occupied. Dining decision made! It gives “let your fingers do the walking” a whole new meaning, doesn’t it?
If you can think of any other augmented reality apps that would benefit corporate travelers and/or travel management professionals, please post your comments below. Our readers would certainly appreciate your insights.
~ Theo Szymanski